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French fishing vessel expected to rescue stranded sailor

Posted by 3citynewswire on 06/11/2010

Rescue teams are heading Friday to a remote area in the Indian Ocean to fetch a stranded 16-year old California sailor girl who lost contact as she tried to circumnavigate the globe in her yacht.

Abby Sunderland, who is trying to be the world’s youngest to sail around the world, had lost satellite contact on Thursday and issued a distress call after what appeared to be a rogue wave hit the boat damaging its communications equipment.

“We are absolutely over the moon. We are very, very happy and excited that the Australian search and rescue jumped on this right away, got a plane after her, said Laurence Sunderland, Abby’s father.

Australian rescue officials said a Qantas Airbus A330 spotted “Wild Eyes,” her yacht, and was able to make radio contact with her. A French fishing vessel was diverted to her location and expected to arrive in the next 24 hours, the family said.

Abby’s mother, Marianna Sunderland, said rescue coordinators in Australia told the family that Abby is “fine” and that the boat is upright.

“She has food, water and she is running her heater, keeping warm. So she seems to be in good spirits and that’s about all we really know for sure,” she said.

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